Current Research

Innovative software for competition analysis in taekwondo

Contact: Steffen Lang, PD Dr. Daniel Link

The aim of this project, funded by the Federal Institute for Sports Science (BISp), is the development and evaluation of two new competition observation tools for Taekwondo. The focus is on optimal information technology support for German Taekwondoins, especially regarding to the Olympics 2021 and 2024. With the TaekwondoScouter, competition data can be live collected via a touch interface. A second acquisition mode with a greater depth of data is available for subsequent analyzes. The TaekwondoViewer is used for the analysis and presentation of the competition data and allows quantitative evaluations to be created and video material for the qualitative analysis to be pre-structured.


Use of data mining methods in game analysis in beach volleyball

Ansprechpartner: Sebastian Wenninger, PD Dr. Daniel Link, Steffen Lang

Since 2011 game analysis in German beach volleyball has been carried out using two specially developed game monitoring tools. With the BeachScouter, game data can be collected efficiently via a touch surface. The BeachViewer is used for the analysis and presentation of the game data and allows quantitative evaluations to be created and video material to be pre-structured for the qualitative analysis. The previous work was based on the principle of transferring existing expert knowledge into the software. The project aims to use data mining and machine learning methods to extract potentially useful regularities from the existing game data.



Publications in this project:

Link, D., & Wenninger, S. (2019). Performance streaks in elite beach volleyball - does failure in one sideout affect attacking in the next? Frontiers in Psychology, 10: 919. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00919

Wenninger, S., Link, D., & Lames, M. (2019). Data Mining in Elite Beach Volleyball – Detecting Tactical Patterns Using Market Basket Analysis, International Journal of Computer Science in Sport, 18(2), 1-19. doi:

Link, Daniel; Lang, Steffen; Wenning, Raimund (2019): Scouting-Software im Beach-Volleyball. Youtube Video. Bonn: Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaft. Online verfügbar unter

New approaches for analyzing spatio-temporal data in sports

Ansprechpartner: Steffen Lang, PD Dr. Daniel Link

This project is about developing, validating and using new approaches in the analysis of positional data in sports games as part of performance analysis. The large amount of data (big data), which is more and more available through the automatic collection of positional data, contains immense knowledge that has so far been insufficiently developed. To make this knowledge available, innovative methods for analyzing this data are required. Within the scope of this project, various approaches to the analysis of this data are developed, which are implemented with the help of mathematical models and validated with existing performance indicators. The aim of a model must be that the existing data is automatically processed and evaluated. It is said to deliver better, faster, and more objective results compared to what has previously been manually collected by game analysts. The results obtained in this way are validated by comparing them with existing performance indicators or, if there are no similar indicators, by manually collecting a ground truth by experts (observer agreement). The models validated in this way are then used to answer questions from professional sports. The knowledge gained in this way can also be implemented in the long term in the amateur and popular sports sector. Game data collected in professional sports are available for the development of these processes. Data from the German Football League from the last three seasons are available. Positional data in professional football consists of location coordinates for all players on the field (x, y) and the ball (x, y, z) at a high frequency (25Hz).


Publications in this project:

Link, Daniel; Lang, Steffen; Seidenschwarz, Philipp (2016): Real Time Quantification of Dangerousity in Football Using Spatiotemporal Tracking Data. In: PloS one 11 (12), e0168768. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168768.

Link, Daniel; Lang, Steffen (2019): How to find elementary football structures in positional data. In: Angel Ric und Raul Pelaez (Hg.): Football Analytics: Now and Beyond. A deep dive into the current state of advanced data analytics. Barcelona, S. 50–65.

Performance analysis in penalty kick in football

Contact: Guilherme Pinheiro (


The analysis of penalty kick performance in football has played an important role in recent research. The average number of goals scored by both teams is typically low during regulation time in football matches (i.e., 2.5). As a consequence, the scoring opportunity that is provided by a penalty kick can decide the outcome of a match. In addition, during a decisive penalty shoot-out, the importance to the outcome of the match is even more obvious.

Researchers have approached the penalty kick from a variety of perspectives, including the application of mathematical models to predict penalty-kick performance outcomes, influence of different performance strategies, emotional pressure, the effects of an environment scaled to the body dimensions of the players, kinematic analysis for predicting outcomes or questionnaires. However, there is no scientific consensus about which performance indicators to use and which analysis tool to apply.

Therefore, the objective of this project is to (i) design and validation of an observational system applied to the penalty kicks regarding the aspects related to tactics and technique, (ii) distinguish the profile of successful and unsuccessful penalty kicks in elite football and analyze the key characteristics that demarcate penalty kick strategies, and (iii) validate new performance indicators. Through the observational system future evaluations will be possible, in order to identify the relation of age, gender and performance, also a wide comparative evaluation between players of different nationalities. The use of a reliable method may have implications for scientific researchers, performance analysts and coaches who seek to identify penalty takers’ likely strategy.

Guilherme Pinheiro (

PhD Stud. Sportwissenschaften

Technische Universität München
Fakultät für Sport und Gesundheitswissenchaften
Lehrstuhl für Trainingswissenchaft und Sportinformatik

KAAD - Katholicher Akademischer Ausländer-Dienst
Mitglied der UFMG Soccer Science Center (

Club information system (CIS) for top level football

Contact: Thomas Blobel

The aim of this study is the software development of a central club information system (CIS) for football clubs. In top level football (similarly in other sports) clubs there are different isolated sources of information, which are generated by different sub-systems and sub-organisations. There are different sources of information (such as club-management, public relations, team-management, medical, athletics… etc.) and every field has its own systems to generate and store this information (Lames, 1997). A Management information system (MIS), normally originating from economy, is used in this work to model a club information system for football clubs. That would mean that all employees in a club can have access to data that is relevant for them. Because there is only little knowledge about this topic, a research cooperation with two youth academies of a first league football club of the German Bundesliga has been started. At the example of performance analysis and medical data, the information system will be developed. Based on this concept, a prototype will be implemented and observed in a field test. A main target of this work will be the development of deeper analyses across different source systems and cross connections between data of different fields (performance analysis and medical).

Already existing systems:

The difference to already existing club information systems is, that the needs of employees and current scientific insights will be more considered. The User Interface is an important part of the software development, because this is one key factor for users to work with this software (and their data) or not. The development follows the purpose: Usability by Design. Therefore it is important, to have a software model, that allows to make changes in design, analysis and graphs as quick and easy as possible, without complex coding. Main aims of such a software model are: - Longterm and deep analysis - Complex filters - Cross-connections between data of different sources - Quick changes (in UI, graphs and analysis) - Integrating of (complex) scientific insights into football practice At the end of the implementation process there should be an operational software-model as prototype that could be used for further development. It could also be used by researchers to implement complex scientific knowledge into one tool. This would mean a big benefit for both sides (researchers and practician), because research would get a platform to present their (to one special field isolated) insights at a bigger platform and the knowledge becomes more practical.


  •  User Interface
    • Individual
    • Appealing
    • Usability by Design
  • Longterm and deep analysis
  • Filter (age groupe, field position…)
  • Cross-connections between Data of different sources
  • Quick changes (UI, Analyses…) - Integration of complex science into a tool for sport practice
  • A tool to get insights at football practice and develop it (easily) further to fullfill the needs of employees in football clubs. 

A Management Theory for Introducing IT-Innovations in Sports

Contact: Hooman Ghorbanizadeh

Making the introduction of IT-Innovations in sports more efficient and effective by offering a management theory, that covers management and economical aspects of innovations (especially IT-innovations) in the setting of top level sport.

Innovations cause growth. Thanks to many researches, it is now obvious for us that innovations - especially technological innovations - led to advantages in top-level sports. Some of the IT technologies that have been improving training systems and brought competitive advantages in top-level sports are for example the advent of new procedures of object detection for analyzing playing positions, new generations of sensors and intelligent algorithms. But despite of all these endeavors, there is still a lack of a management theory and a general approach, which firstly can be used for every technological innovation, and secondly put top-level sports as the target group. According to the high rate of the environmental changes and increasing number of IT-Innovations, identification of the nature of the innovation, the best time for introducing, implementing and examining it given to its life cycle and rate of desired innovation diffusion and acceptability, and also identification of stakeholder’s needs for being able to satisfy them in time, can be most important aspects for extracting this management theory. For achieving this aim, it is necessary to deal in depth with the concepts of management approaches, top-level sports projects with the subject and content of IT-Innovations, and knowledge of all stakeholders behavior, expectations and the level of their roles in these projects. Mina Ghorbanizadeh is going to work on this kind of theory as her PHD dissertation and has presented it in the latest dvs-conference in Mainz.  

Evaluation of rules and Technological Officiating Aids in Game Sports

Contact: Otto Kolbinger 

Development of universal concepts for the evaluation of rule changes and Technological Officiating Aids in game sports, as well as the draft and application of customized evaluation designs for specific interventions.

Over recent years, more and more sport associations adapted their rule books to broaden the appeal of competitions or to provide match officials new tools to apply and enforce rules. Especially the use of Technological Officiating Aids experienced a massive increase. All those interventions create the need for evaluations regarding two overarching questions: Before an intervention is introduced, one needs to assess its necessity - after the introduction, the focus is on investigating the effects of an intervention. Sport associations currently underestimate the multi-dimensional nature of a comprehensive evaluation process.

As an example, the introduction of the goal line technology in football, which even replaces the officials for one decision, shows the lack of comprehensive evaluations of those interventions. On the one hand, FIFA established a series of technical tests that the systems have to pass in order to get credited as an official GLT. On the other hand, no evaluations concerning the cost-benefit ratio, the impact of the introduction of these technologies on the game as well as on internal and external stakeholders have been obtained so far. The same is true for interdependencies with other Technological Officiating Aids, for example after the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). Kolbinger et al. (2015) raised concerns regarding the cost-benefit ratio of goal line technology and already pointed out that the benefit will shrink after the introduction of a video replay review system.

Besides such customized evaluation designs for specific interventions, the chair also provides universal concepts for the assessment of rule changes. As a main goal of his dissertation project, Otto Kolbinger developed a framework for the evaluation of Technological Officiating Aids in game sports. The underlying model describes the assessment of such interventions as a multi-disciplinary approach and on-going process (figure 1). For this model, investigating the structure of the competition, and therefore using methods and tools of performance analysis, is essential to estimate the necessity as well as the effects of an intervention. Since the start of this project, the chair was able to act as a main contributor to the discussion of the scientific community as well as to support intervention processes in collaboration with sport associations.